The BNP, Golden Dawn and Us

Golden Dawn supporters in Thessaloniki, Greece. (Credit: Reuters)

Golden Dawn supporters in Thessaloniki, Greece.
(Credit: Reuters)

I follow the British National Party and their Chairman Nick Griffin on Twitter, not so that you don’t have to, but because I want to know what prominent crazies are up to in other countries. I’d follow the Golden Dawn, but I can’t read Greek. Here’s something Griffin posted after the BNP had a rally to protest Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder:

It’s an inflammatory thing to say, but not entirely unreasonable. If I said the same thing about Democrats, Los Angeles and Tijuana, a lot of the people who read this would probably nod in agreement. Of course, Nick Griffin is also prone to tweeting out little nuggets like this one:

Now, the BNP has seats in Parliament, but they aren’t very popular as evidenced by the fact that they were outnumbered 2-1 by left wing yahoos in their latest march. Which brings us to Greece and Golden Dawn.

Since elections last year, Golden Dawn’s appeal has almost doubled, with successive polls showing support of between 11% and 12% for the neo-fascists. Privately pollsters acknowledge that, as Greece’s third-strongest and fastest-growing political force, the group could garner as much as 15% of support in local elections next year.

Gangs of Golden Dawn members routinely beat up and destroy the market stalls of illegal immigrants; they also give out free food to Greek citizens and have 18 members of Parliament. They also don’t like Jews.

Now the United States is unlikely to have a major problem with neo-Nazis any time soon. After all, are 11% of the people you know neo-Nazis? However, this kind of phenomenon appears when a large number of people are not having their basic needs met and think that those with cultural capital, such as the media, government and entertainment figures, don’t care about them. It doesn’t help the situation when the public is infantilized with promised government handouts that they now have to share with the immigrants who are spilling unchecked across the border.

Sound familiar?

The difference is that British and American citizens aren’t going hungry, and we haven’t yet seen the moment of reckoning when entitlements simply stop arriving in the mail. I think that we’re foolish, though, if we think that it couldn’t happen here.